Staff Profile
Emmett Duffy Photo


Emmett Duffy is Director of the Smithsonian’s Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network, which coordinates the developing MarineGEO program. MarineGEO is building a worldwide partnership to administer an annual health exam for coastal marine life: documenting how and why coastal sea life is changing, and how that change affects resilience of the marine ecosystems humans depend on. The research focuses on biological diversity as the heart of healthy marine ecosystems and how they respond together to global change. Duffy is a marine biologist who has worked in seagrass and coral reef ecosystems around the world. He has contributed to scientific syntheses linking biodiversity to ecosystem health, the US National Climate Assessment, and visioning for development of an international Marine Biodiversity Observation Network. He was awarded an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship in 2006, Japan’s inaugural Kobe Prize in Marine Biology in 2011, and a Virginia Outstanding Faculty award in 2013. Duffy came to the Smithsonian in 2013 after 19 years at the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. 

Publications (Google Scholar)


  • Reynolds, Pamela L., Stachowicz, John J., Hovel, Kevin, Boström, Christoffer, Boyer, Katharyn, Cusson, Mathieu, Eklöf, Johan S., Engel, Friederike G., Engelen, Aschwin H., Eriksson, Britas Klemens, Fodrie, F. J., Griffin, John N., Hereu, Clara, Hori, Masakazu, Hanley, Torrance, Ivanov, Mikhail, Jorgensen, Pablo, Kruschel, Claudia, Lee, Kun-Seop, McGlathery, Karen, Moksnes, Per Olav, Nakaoka, Masahiro, O'Connor, Mary I., O'Connor, Nessa, Orth, Robert J., et al. (2018). Latitude, temperature and habitat complexity predict predation pressure in eelgrass beds across the Northern Hemisphere. Ecology, 99 (1) , 29-35.
  • Campbell, Justin E., Altieri, Andrew H., Johnston, Lane N., Kuempel, Caitlin D., Paperno, Richard, Paul, Valerie J. and Duffy, J. Emmett. (2018). Herbivore community determines the magnitude and mechanism of nutrient effects on subtropical and tropical seagrasses. Journal of Ecology, 106 (1) , 401-412.
  • O'Connor, Mary I., Gonzalez, Andrew, Byrnes, Jarrett E. K., Cardinale, Bradley J., Duffy, James Emmett, Gamfeldt, Lars, Griffin, John N., Hooper, David, Hungate, Bruce A., Paquette, Alain, Thompson, Patrick L., Dee, Laura E. and Dolan, Kristin L. (2017). A general biodiversity-function relationship is mediated by trophic level. Oikos, 126 (1) , 18-31.
  • Duffy, James Emmett, Godwin, Casey M. and Cardinale, Bradley J. (2017). Biodiversity effects in the wild are common and as strong as key drivers of productivity. Nature, (549) , 261-264.
  • Edgar, Graham J., Alexander, Timothy J., Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Bates, Amanda E., Kininmonth, Stuart J., Thomson, Russell J., Duffy, J. Emmett, Costello, Mark J. and Stuart-Smith, Rick D. (2017). Abundance and local-scale processes contribute to multi-phyla gradients in global marine diversity. Science Advances, 3 (10) , e1700419-e1700419.
  • Stuart-Smith, Rick, Edgar, Graham J., Barrett, Neville S., Bates, Amanda E., Baker, Susan C., Bax, Nicholas J., Becerro, Mikel A., Berkhout, Just, Blanchard, Julia L., Brock, Daniel J., Clark, Graeme F., Cooper, Antonia T., Davis, Tom R., Day, Paul B., Duffy, James Emmett, Holmes, Thomas H., Howe, Steffan A., Jordan, Alan, Kininmonth, Stuart, Knott, Nathan A., Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Ling, Scott D., Parr, Amanda, Strain, Elisabeth, Sweatman, Hugh, et al. (2017). Assessing National Biodiversity Trends for Rocky and Coral Reefs through the Integration of Citizen Science and Scientific Monitoring Programs. Bioscience, 67 (2) , 134-146.
  • Chak, Solomon Tin Chi, Duffy, James Emmett, Hultgren, Kristin M. and Rubenstein, Dustin R. (2017). Evolutionary transitions towards eusociality in snapping shrimps. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1
  • Staaterman, Erica R., Ogburn, Matthew Bryan, Altieri, Andrew H., Brandl, Simon J., Whippo, Ross, Seemann, Janina, Goodison, Michael R. and Duffy, James Emmett. (2017). Bioacoustic measurements complement visual biodiversity surveys: preliminary evidence from four shallow marine habitats. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 575 , 207-215.
  • Brandl, Simon J., Casey, Jordan M., Knowlton, Nancy and Duffy, James Emmett. (2017). Marine dock pilings foster diverse, native cryptobenthic fish assemblages across bioregions. Ecology and Evolution, 7 (17) , 7069-7079.
  • Gaynor, Kaitlyn M., Solomon, Joseph W., Siller, Stefanie, Jessell, Linnet, Duffy, J. Emmett and Rubenstein, Dustin R. (2017). Development of genome- and transcriptome-derived microsatellites in related species of snapping shrimps with highly duplicated genomes. Molecular Ecology Resources, 17 (6) , e160-e173.
  • Isbell, Forest, Gonzalez, Andrew, Loreau, Michel, Cowles, Jane, Diaz, Sandra, Hector, Andy, Mace, Georgina M., Wardle, DavidA, O'Connor, Mary I., Duffy, James Emmett, Turnbull, Lindsay A., Thompson, Patrick L. and Larigauderie, Anne. (2017). Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales. Nature, 546 (7656) , 65-72.
  • Duffy, James Emmett, Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Stuart-Smith, Rick D., Navarrete, Sergio A. and Edgar, Graham J. (2016). Biodiversity enhances reef fish biomass and resistance to climate change . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113 (22) , 6230-6235.
  • Naeem, Shahid, Chazdon, Robin, Duffy, James Emmett, Prager, Case and Worm, Boris. (2016). Biodiversity and human well-being: an essential link for sustainable development. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283 (1844)
  • Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Byrnes, Jarrett E. K., Isbell, Forest, Gamfeldt, Lars, Griffin, John N., Eisenhauer, Nico, Hensel, Marc J. S., Hector, Andy, Cardinale, Bradley J. and Duffy, James Emmett. (2015). Biodiversity enhances ecosystem multifunctionality across trophic levels and habitats . Nature Communications, 6
  • Gamfeldt, Lars, Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Byrnes, Jarrett E. K., Cardinale, Bradley J., Duffy, James Emmett and Griffin, John N. (2015). Marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: what's known and what's next?. Oikos, 124 (3) , 252-265.